choreographic research by Yalda Younes (2022 - ongoing)
route of the phrenic nerve, which operates the diaphragm
“I feel that the inhale
is a call for help”
How to render the invisible visible?
“Paradoxical breathing” is a dysfunction where the breath mechanism is reversed, with the diaphragm moving in the opposite direction than it should during inhalation and exhalation.
While the term usually refers to a medical condition, Yalda Younes’ experience as a yoga therapist has revealed that, to some extent, a large percentage of people unknowingly exhibit a reversed breathing pattern. A spiraling underlying cause of many health issues, paradoxical breathing is facilitated not only by the emotional stress and poor postural habits induced by our modern lifestyles, but also by the total neglect of breath awareness and education in modern culture.
Rather than approaching the subject of breathing merely as a therapist, where it would be tempting to fall into the trap of dogmatic knowledge, Yalda was intrigued by intuitive forms of knowledge acquired by individuals whose breath plays a prominent role in their main activity. Thus, she initiated a series of interviews and conversations, enquiring about the subtle choreography that unfolds during each person’s inhale and exhale, including placement, movement, trajectory, dynamics and impact. The dialogue spontaneously moves from the physicality of one's intimate body to singular or relational, poetic or political, physiological or emotional reflections on the world. Among the voices featured are musician, flutist, and electro-acoustic composer Abigail Toll, voice artist and improviser Ute Wassermann, and experimental prose writer and yoga practitioner Haytham El-Wardany.
This research has been made possible with the support of “Fonds Darstellende Künste aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Rahmen von NEUSTART KULTUR”.The project’s developmental form is still undetermined.